Average Down Payment Varies Greatly By Market

January 20, 2017

A 20 percent down payment is no longer the standard. According to Realtor.com, the average down payment on mortgages used to purchase a home is down to 11 percent. For a home at the average purchase price of $290,000, the average down payment would be $32,680.

The down payment rate, though, differs depending on the prices of homes in a given market. Higher-cost markets require higher down payment percentages; otherwise, monthly payments are too expensive to afford.

For example, Realtor.com said that buyers in San Francisco put down 29.9 percent up front ($326,000), and New York buyers made 30.2 percent down payments ($219,000). Washington D.C. homebuyers paid $110,000, or 17 percent, up front.

Buyers in rural counties in the Midwest and South could make down payments as low as 3 percent, which usually amounts to $5,000 or less. All figures come from a recent analysis of loan records from Optimal Blue, a lending software company.

Borrowers with jumbo mortgages had to put the highest percentage down, with an average of 23%. Conforming mortgages averaged 18% in 2016. On the other hand, government-backed FHA, VA, and USDA mortgages featured average down payments of 4.8%, 2.2%, and 0.4%, respectively.

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